Monday, January 2, 2012

10 Wonderful Animal Books by Steve Jenkins

I have just discovered the wonderful books of Steve Jenkins. He’s written over 20 books and every one is a winner. Some of the books he co-wrote with his wife, Robin Page. The books have a wide range of reading levels, from first grade to sixth. If the reading is too hard, just sweet-talk someone to read it with you. They’ll be glad they did!

Today’s post is about 10 of Jenkins’ animal books. On another Monday I’ll tell you about some of his other books.

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?
Jenkins considers questions in several of his books. Some of the questions answered in this book include: What do you do with a tail like this? and What do you do with eyes like these? This book won the 2004 Caldecott Honor Award and it’s easy to see why.

What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?
Each animal has its own way to escape predators. This book shows how lots of animals deal with danger. It’s set up so one page shows an animal being threatened, giving the reader a chance to guess its strategy. Turning the page gives you the answer.

How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?
In addition to the title question, some of the questions answered are: How Many Ways Can You Snare a Fish? and How many ways can you use a leaf? [FYI: an orangutan uses a large leaf as an umbrella]

How to Clean a Hippopotamus: a Look At Unusual Animal Partnerships
Here is one of the things I learned in this book: zebras, wildebeests and ostriches feed together in the grass. To protect themselves while they eat, the zebra listens, the wildebeest smells and the ostrich listens for danger. A true partnership!

Slap, Squeak & Scatter: How Animals Communicate
Animals have lots of different ways to communicate. This book tells about many ways, including whales singing, bats squeaking, lemurs using their tails as flags, turkey vultures circling in the air…the list goes on.

I See a Kookaburra! Discovering Animal Habitats Around the World
Six different habitats are shown in this book: the desert, a tidal pool, the jungle, the savanna, the forest and a pond. The double page of each habitat is fun to explore. After exploring, you can turn the page to find out more. More animal information is given in the end pages.

Never Smile at a Monkey
Including the warning in the title, this book also advises that we never: pet a platypus, jostle a jellyfish, swim with a squid and lots of other pieces of advice. You never know when you might need to know this stuff!

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea
This book starts at the top layer of ocean water (0 feet) and continues down to the deepest part of the sea (35,838 feet). Along the way, we learn about the animals that live at each level. This book has lots of information, with more in the last pages.

Time to Eat
Jenkins writes about how different animals go about eating. The animals include giant pandas, ticks, acorn woodpeckers, black widow spiders and more. Interesting! Similar to this book are Time to Sleep and Time for a Bath.

Actual Size
Animals, both big and small, are shown at actual size. This means the picture of the atlas moth is 12 inches across and the picture of the dwarf goby fish is only 1/3 inch big. The mouth of the saltwater crocodile is so big, it fills a 3-page spread! There’s also Prehistoric Actual Size.

I hope what I’ve written about Steve Jenkins’ animal books spurs you to check some of them out. His website, Steve Jenkins Books is also interesting and well worth a visit.

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